A Good Day to Die Hard Review

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Dir: John Moore

Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Radivoje Bukvic and Yuliya Snigir

Synopsis: John McClane travels to Russia to help out his seemingly wayward son, Jack, only to discover that Jack is a CIA operative working to prevent a nuclear-weapons heist, causing the father and son to team up against underworld forces.

 

So how do you freshen up a series that some believe is pushing it? Add some new blood. Now sometimes this works (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) and sometimes it doesn’t. With A Good Day to Die Hard, the fifth installment of the Die Hard series, it has its moments were it does work.

The movie starts by following the new blood to the series, Jack McClane (Courtney), killing someone in Russia and gets himself caught to get close to a political prisoner Uri Komarov (Koch) to get a file for the CIA. Of course this gets to his father John McClane, once again played by Bruce Willis, and he flies to Russia to try and save his son that he hasn’t seen in years. Of course once he gets there everything goes crazy and the McClane’s have to team up and as John puts it “kill all the bad guys.”

Now it’s been a while since we’ve had John McClane in our lives and when he gets to Russia we get the fish-out-of-water gags as John’s New York’s tough cop struggles to fit in to Moscow. Once John finally tracks Jack down, it’s not the happy family reunion that you would assume. In fact John is the last person that Jack wants to see in Russia, or pretty much ever.

The movie has some twists and turns that you can probably see coming once it finally develops or kind of don’t care about it. A Good Day also tries to pay some homage to the previous movies and if you’re a die hard Die Hard fan (yeah I know) then you might catch them.

I briefly mentioned Willis return as McClane but the some people will look at Jai Courtney as Jack. Courtney has his moments to shine as the younger McClane but other than that he doesn’t really get past the “I hate my dad” attitude until almost the end of the movie when the two finally set their differences aside and becomes the A-Team wrecking crew.

The action here is not that bad, starting with a long car chase that seems like it takes place all over Moscow. While at times a bit confusing and some cheesy dialogue from Willis it shows how the series has gone from the “real” action experience to the common over the top action that we see a lot now, although at least for me its not all that bad.

All in all, A Good Day to Die Hard might be the weakest of the Die Hard series but it does have its brief moments where it is good. If Courtney is indeed the “future” of the Die Hard series then I think they should bring him in for one more (which I’m pretty sure we’ll get) and flesh out his character a bit.

A Good Day to Die Hard

3 out of 5

Anticipated Movies of 2013 Part 1

Well 2012 was a great year of movies don’t you think? Well 2013 seems to be another great year too. As you can tell from the title, this is going to be a list of my anticipated movies of 2013. Of course to spare you from reading a long list I’m going to separate it months at a time. Remember this is my list so don’t think that all of these movies are going to be a home run.

Jan

4th: Zero Dark Thirty

Although it gets a wide release the following week, here in Chicago it comes out a little earlier. Nonetheless, Kathryn Bigelow did an amazing job with her first war film The Hurt Locker that sprung the careers of Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie. Now, she comes back with yet another war movie about the biggest manhunt of Osama bin Laden with an already star studded cast of Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain, Kyle Chandler, Joel Edgerton and Mark Strong.

 

11th: Gangster Squad

Just look at the cast and you can see why everybody is excited for this. Add in newcomer director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) and the gangsters and you got me hooked.

 

18th: The Last Stand, Broken City, Mama

The first stacked weekend of the year with the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger in a leading role, a political thriller with Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg, and a Guillermo del Toro produced horror movie based on a creepy short film.

 

25th: Movie 43, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Parker, John Dies at the End

Another stacked week with a comedy of different stories with different actors and directors, a twist on a well known fairy tale and another Jason Statham movie with Michael Chiklis and JLO (besides her I’m actually looking forward to the movie). Finally John Dies at the End has been making waves at film festivals and sometimes with good buzz comes a good movie (talking film festival wise)

 

Feb

1st: Bullet to the Head

            Based on the graphic novel of the same name, the movie looks pretty cool. Add in Sylvester Stallone’s “sense of humor” and the movie’s look of action then am in.

 

8th: Side Effects

Directed by Steven Soderbergh and what looks like a great thriller I can’t wait for it. Even if it has Channing Tatum.

 

15th: A Good Day to Die Hard

            While some think that the Die Hard franchise has past its “prime” or welcome point. I still find them highly entertaining and great fun. Now this adds John McClane’s son into the mix.

 

22nd: Snitch

Based on what is said to be a true story of a father going undercover for the DEA in order to free his son who was imprisoned after being set up in drug deal. The movie stars The Rock, I mean Dwayne Johnson as the father and it stars some other heavy hitters like Barry Pepper, Benjamin Bratt, Jon Bernthal, Susan Sarandon and Michael Kenneth Williams.

 

Mar

1st: Stoker

Directed by the awesome Chan-wook Park (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Lady Vengeance, Thirst) the trailers make the movie look like a crazy psychological thriller.

 

8th: Dead Man Down, The ABCs of Death

            The first American movie directed by Niels Arden Oplev who did the fantastic Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and even stars original Lisbeth Salander, Noomi Rapace. Then there’s a 26-chapter anthology that showcases death in “all its vicious wonder and brutal beauty.”

 

15th: Carrie

            Although many are against the remake, I was at first too but being against remakes nowadays isn’t really the worst thing, after seeing the teaser, the impressive cast of Julianne Moore and Chole Grace Mortez, and the fact that they are going to stick closer to the Stephen King book then De Palma 76’ film, (although that is really good) really makes me excited for this.

 

29th: G.I Joe: Retaliation, The Place Beyond the Pines

Although the first Rise of Cobra was more a dumb fun summer popcorn movie, it had its small moments. But even then the movie was not really good. So how do you make a sequel that makes you forget about the first one? Reboot of course, well a sort of reboot anyway. With a brand new cast of characters and more realistic looking action sequences I am highly excited for this. As you some of you know I was not happy with the year long delay either. Place Beyond the Pines looks pretty interesting with a respectful cast with Ryan Gosling leading the charge.

 

Apr

5th: Jurassic Park 3D Re-Release

            I mean come on lets face it. It’s a chance to see Jurassic Park again on the big screen.

 

12th: Evil Dead

Yet another remake of a classic horror movie I know but what does this have going for it? Well, first Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell are producing. Raimi hand picked the young new director Fede Alvarez to redo this. Also, the red-band trailer that came out in the summer really helped put me (and maybe others) at ease that the movie was not going to disappoint.

 

19th: Oblivion

            By new visionary director Joseph Kosinski (Tron Legacy) the movie looks pretty good with Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman leading the cast. Set in the future where humans managed to win a war against aliens but Earth was destroyed in the process seems pretty cool.

 

26th: Pain and Gain

Many of you know about my feelings for Michael Bay but after seeing the trailer for this and the cast of Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Ed Harris and Anthony Mackie, I’m kind of excited.